Thomas Alton Mathews (1917)

Events

Birth06 Dec 1917 at Antimony, Garfield, Utah, USA
Death02 Sep 1988 at Washington, District Of Columbia, District Of Colombia, USA
Burial02 Sep 1988 at Brentwood, Prince George's, Maryland, USA

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Stories

Memories of Thomas Alton Mathews (1917) by his brother Dasil and daughter Illene

In my remarks today, I would like to do several things. First, I would like to share with you a brief sketch of my father’s early life written by his brother Dasil. Dasil was 3rd of the 11 Mathews.

A brief sketch by his brother Dasil

Alton was the 2nd of 11 Mathews Children. Farm life in Antimony, Utah was no bed of roses in the 20s and 30s when he was growing up. Alton was the largest and the strongest of the boys. He was responsible with two of his brothers for milking cows, cutting & hauling hay, plowing and other farm tasks. He was the most studious of the boys and was always reading and doing math. He graduated from high school at the top of his class.

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Dad or Grampa

Ilene Shelton’s thoughts after her dad’s death.

Every person in this life has something to share, As a family we are glad we have had our daddy for this additional season of time. Over the years dad has been very ill and often we felt that it was his time, but it wasn’t and wondered what was it that dad needed to do here.

One thing he has gained the past while is the ability for us to know of his love for- us . Last week he told Dennis he had a secret to share and Dennis told him if he shared it then it wouldn’t be a secret, but he had to tell him anyway and that was he loved him.

Over the many operations he has had and during his recovery period we all have known that the Lord was there and knew our dad and was in charge. We were not in control. Dad had a knowledge of the Lord and loved him. He believed in the power of prayer and the healing of the sick and called for blessings in his behalf to help understand how and why he was still here. He had no doubt that he and mother had work to do and that she was waiting for him to come. In one blessing he was told that it would seem like a very short time until they were together .

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Thomas Mathews (1917)

Daddy

One of my choice memories of Daddy was when he bowled at Petworth Bowling Alley near the Petworth Library on Georgia Avenue. Gary and I would take turns meeting him there after work going down there on the bus. We would have something to eat with him usually at the drugstore across the street. That was one of the few times we ever had canned soups. Then we would watch him bowl or we would walk to the library and browse or check out books. I’m sure that much of my love for books came from those times of wandering through that library.

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Letters

Thomas A Mathews (1917) End of Life

Letter from Ilene Shelton to her family after Alton died.
Scanned, OCRed, and spelling
corrected by Ben Mathews.

September 14, 1988

Dear Family,

Finally I’m getting a few moments to write down the events of the past couple weeks . It has been very hectic, but filled with rewarding spiritual times and times being together with family
members.

Lory left for Ricks on the 27th. For those who didn’t know dad decided last spring that when she got home from school she would take care of him and that is what happened. Lydia, Dennis and Dad were able to go to the Barker Reunion the week before on Thursday with Ann, Craig and LaVon going a day earlier, but returning on the same flight.

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Thomas a Mathews (1917) - letter to his family after the death of his wife

I guess that I have to break down and write if this family letter is to function.

I have had a cold ever since the funeral. I just hold on to make me feel miserable.

Thanks to all of you for coming to say goodbye to your mother. It made it easier for us all to endure the sorrow and we can now have some remembrance of each other.

I love you mother very much. It seems that half of me isn’t here anymore. It was her doings that you all were able to go to college, etc. When Tom was called on his mission, she willingly gave up the things she enjoyed doing to leave the home and work to help give you kids the things that you wanted but I could not afford to give you. She kept sacrificing for her children and her grandchildren until her death.

I think the greatest tribute we can pay to her is to live such lives that we will be able to go to her in the Celestial Kingdom; for that is where she is going to be.

I guess Ann and Craig are well along in their wedding plans. Carl and Susan have been in a …. (can’t read). They did go to Baltimore yesterday to take furniture and a hot water heater. I hope they make a nest where they can be happy.

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Thomas Alton Mathews - Letter to Vanese - 8/1/1972

Provo, Utah
1 August 1972

Dearest Vanese,

Being away from you, and then thinking what Bishop Peterson said yesterday in the devotional at the Genealogy Seminar, I have come to the conclusion that in our thirty-one plus years of married life., or even when I was courting you, I never really expressed my love and appreciation or put in words exactly what you mean to me.

Sometimes I Know you feel that I am critical of the things you are doing. In thinking about why I act this way I have come to the conclusion that I am jealous of you because I don't have the knack or know-how that you do. You have a very sweet disposition and it is hard to make you angry when I provoke you.

I admire you for wanting to help others and your concern for their welfare. I sometimes have discouraged you by saying it costs too much or we don't have the time to spend helping others but you have always stuck by what you knew was right.

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Autobiographies

Thomas Mathews (1917)

Not sure when written. Tells of his growing up, church activity and his family life.

I am the second son of Benjamin Lynn Mathews and Esther Black. I was born in Grandfather Black’s home at Coyote (Antimony), Utah, on 6 December 1917. Shortly after I was born I became sick with the influenza that was sweeping the country in 1918; but, with the loving care of Mother and Grandmother Black and the blessings of the Lord, I recovered with no permanent effects.

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